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Assessment of livestock grazing pressure in key tiger habitat in a semi-arid landscape in Western India

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Loss of pasture lands and increased livestock population has resulted in higher livestock dependency on the forest lands. Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is an important landscape for maintaining a healthy tiger population in western India. The sanctuary is inhibited by 19,179 people and 78,122 livestock in 66 settlements. Livestock density in KWLS is 0.74 ACU ha−1 which is much higher than the recommended stocking density. Heavy livestock population has degraded the habitat. The study was carried out to assess the grazing pressure in the KWLS. Livestock population has left very little space for the wild herbivores. There is an immense possibility of increased human–wildlife conflicts and endangered food security and livelihood for thousands of people. In view of such a situation, measures have been suggested for the management of livestock grazing impacts and conservation of this crucial habitat.

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The authors are thankful to the Ranthambhore Tiger Conservation Foundation (Grant no. 01) for providing financial assistance for the study. We thank Mihir Sule, Chetan Rao, Alok Chorghe and Anita Poonia for reviewing the manuscript and for comments that greatly improved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Vishal Rasal.

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Rasal, V., Dhakad, M., Khandal, D. et al. Assessment of livestock grazing pressure in key tiger habitat in a semi-arid landscape in Western India. Trop Ecol 63, 644–649 (2022).

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